In America today, two communities with sub-Saharan African genetic origins exist side by side, though they have differing histories and positions within society. This book explores the relationship between African Americans, descendants of those Africans brought to America as slaves, and migrants from sub-Saharan Africa, who have come to the United States of America voluntarily, mainly since the 1990s. Members of these groups have both a great deal in common and much that separates them, largely hidden in their assumptions about, and attitudes towards, each other. In a work grounded in extensive fieldwork Bondarenko and his research team interviewed African Americans, and migrants from twenty-three African States and five Caribbean nations, as well as non-black Americans involved with African Americans and African migrants. Seeking a wide range of perspectives, from different ages, classes and levels of education, they explored the historically rooted mutual images of African Americans and contemporary African migrants, so as to understand how these images influence the relationship between them. In particular, they examined conceptions of ‘black history’ as a common history of all people and nations with roots in Africa. What emerges is a complex picture. While collective historical memory of oppression forges solidarity, lack of knowledge of each other’s history can create distance between communities. African migrants tend to define their identities not by race, but on the basis of multiple layers of national, ethnic, religious and linguistic affinities (of which African Americans are often unaware). For African Americans, however, although national and regional identities are important, it is above all race that is the defining factor. While drawing on wider themes from anthropology and African studies, this in-depth study on a little-researched subject allows valuable new understandings of contemporary American society.
The article aims to identify the nature of social transformations in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) under illegal minerals mining and smuggling carried out by foreign mining companies, armed groups, criminal groups of neighboring countries, "war barons" and associated "agents". New forms of government and economic activities resulted from government's failure to provide citizens of the eastern parts of the country with required services. In the conditions of complete disregard of national laws and interests regulating social relations, new rules of interaction between individual groups and between individual groups and local and central government authorities were developed. These new forms of social development have nothing to do with chaos: numerous rival centers of power on the fringes of the country exercise effective control, provide services and exploit local population. Poor people of the richest eastern provinces of the DRC who do not benefit from extraction and export of valuable minerals are forced to develop their own "survival strategies", including illegal minerals mining and smuggling. Illegal economic activities form new “legalized” authorities, change values of the Congolese and transform the society. As a result, the anti-government system of public relations reached a high point of development in the eastern regions of the DRC.
The chapter by Dmitri Bondarenko, is on the role of historical memory in shaping the relations between African Americans – descendants of slaves forcibly brought from Africa to America centuries ago – and first-generation African immigrants in the USA. Basing on the first-hand evidence from the filed, the author argues that they do not form a single ‘black community’ and that among the reasons explaining this disunity, an important part is played by the different reflection of the past in their historical memory. Most African Americans and African migrants do not have an integral vision of history – of their own history and even more so of each other’s. Their historical consciousness is discrete: there is no history as a process in it, but there are several isolated bright topoi – the most important events. Although all these topoi are directly or indirectly related to the socio-political and spiritual resistance of black people to the whites’ exploitation in or outside Africa, they can be different or be of different importance to African Americans and Africans. There is no concept of ‘black history’ as common history of all the people whose roots are in Africa in the minds of most African Americans and African migrants, especially poorly educated. Bondarenko shows that the key events in African American and African history (namely, the pre-slave trade and pre-colonial period in Africa, transatlantic slave trade, slavery and its abolition in the USA, colonialism and anticolonial struggle in Africa, the civil rights movement in the USA, and the struggle against apartheid in South Africa) are reflected differently and occupy different places in the historical memory and collective consciousness of African Americans and contemporary African migrants to the USA. To some extent, visions of the past promote Africans and African Americans’ rapprochement as victims of long-lasting white domination. However, a deeper analysis shows how the collective historical memory of both groups works more in the direction of separating them by generating and supporting contradictory and even negative images of each other. In general, the relations between African Americans and recent African migrants are characterized by simultaneous mutual attraction and repulsion. Among all ethnoracial communities in the country, the two groups (and also African Caribbeans) consider themselves as the closest to each other; nevertheless, myriads of differences cause mutual repulsion.
The article highlights the results of field research conducted in Tanzania in August-September 2018, focused on historical memory about Arab slave trade in East Africa and Indian Ocean in the 19-th century and its influence on modern-day interethnic relations in the country.
The present article, based on field evidence collected in 2017, deals with a very recent phenomenon — the Orthodox Old Believers in Uganda. This faith originated in Russia, however in Uganda all its adherents belong to African ethnic groups. We describe the short by now history and current state of the Old-Believer communities in Uganda and then concentrate on their members’ motivation for converting to Old Believers vs. knowledge of this religion. We show that what brings them to Old Believers is the search for the true faith associated with the original and hence correct way of performing Christian rites. In this we see an intricate interplay of the features typical for authentic African cultures and acquired by them in the course of interaction with the wider world. Basing on our case study, we discuss how globalist and anti-globalist trends manifest themselves in the religious context in contemporary Africa.
The aim of this volume is to study various manifestations of how the past influences the present in contemporary African societies and diaspora communities (called so irrespective of the generation of migrants to which the people that form these communities now belong). The contributors look at the role of the past in shaping modern Africa and African diasporas in different contexts – cultural, social, political – and from different perspectives: ‘subjectivist’ (through the imprints and reflections of the past in human minds) and ‘objectivist’ (through the ways by which the social, political, and cultural events of the past direct the processes in the respective spheres nowadays).
The article deals with the early evolution of concepts crucial for the development of the British imperial mythology. The author focuses on the emergence of the ‘agricultural argument’ for appropriating native lands and on the changing perceptions of civility. While the origins of the ‘agricultural argument’ in the works of early colonial propagandists are obvious, the author argues that those early ideas were not defined enough to serve the purposes of the colonial expansion, and the shift towards a more practical interpretation happened in the context of native-colonial relations. The concept of civility took on new meaning in the colonies, much more similar to the later imperial idea. The author emphasizes the impact of the colonial experience onthis ideological evolution.
The authors introduce the theme of African futures, and insist on the plural meanings it involves as both a concept and an empirical reality. The relationship between the continent’s futures and its multiple pasts and presents are considered, and the concept of ‘trajectory’ is used to integrate those multiple African realities into an integrated picture of human agency and human
After several seasons prospecting the area surrounding the site, we found many ballcourts in western Uaxactun area. These were confirmed by LiDAR. These ballcourts are related to satellite sites, located at the average distance of 2 to 10 km away from the city core. Excavations in 2017 helped to clarify the chronology of these buildings. The information obtained helped us to understand better the urban and social development of the city.
Over the past decade or even longer, a lot has been contemplated and written about the need for Russia to «return» to the African continent. An increase in the importance of Africa’s resource, human and economic potential within the emerging model of world development is undeniable, and with Russia once again claiming to be a weighty player on the global arena, it cannot but seek to expand its presence on the continent to restore its international standing. The first Russia-Africa Summit poised to take place in Sochi (Russia) in October 2019 attests to the growing importance that Moscow attaches to the continent. In recent years, within its new foreign policy approach to Africa, Russia has established special relations with a number of African countries. Russia developed particularly close cooperation with Sudan, just short of establishing a full-fledged strategic partnership, raising hopes in Moscow that it gained a viable foothold on the continent and, consequently, access to farther parts of the continent. Indeed, Russia capitalized on its standing with Khartoum as it managed to penetrate politically and economically into the Central African Republic. On 11 April 2019, Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir was removed from power by the Sudanese military and placed under arrest. This put Moscow, which was seen as a close ally of the ousted President, in a precarious position. Even so, the present study argues that the intensity of political and military relations and the convergence of national interests have laid a solid foundation for the close friendship and comprehensive ties between Russia and Sudan. However, the shortcomings of Moscow’s economic policy for Africa in general and Sudan in particular must be addressed promptly if Russia were to establish itself on the continent.
Contributors to this volume discuss a variety of ways the African past (African history) influences the present-day of Africans on the continent and in diaspora: cultural (historical) memory as a factor of public (mass) consciousness; the impact of the historical past on contemporary political, social, and cultural processes in Africa and African diaspora.
This volume is an output of a research project implemented as part of the Basic Research Program at the National Research University Higher School of Economics (HSE).
The paper deals with social advertisement on HIV/AIDS, Ebola, and malaria in African cities. Each of these diseases is treated differently by the authors of advertisements in terms of key messages to citizens, ways of representation and emotional component. Billboards dedicated to Ebola and malaria are logical, consistent and easily understandable: they give a very clear instructions on the ways of protection from the diseases, although the advertising strategies in these two cases differ greatly (Ebola social advertising uses disturbing colors, splashes of red, multiple exclamation points, clearly indicating emergency situation and drawing people’s attention in a very aggressive way, while malaria social advertising is very calm and positive emotionally, it uses positive images, images of smiling people, smiling children, photos of famous people inspiring their fellow citizens to sleep under nets and care about their families). In case of HIV/AIDS various approaches to the problem are shown: examples of ABC strategy, useless abstract billboards without any message except for “Stop AIDS”, billboards widely using manipulation and false logic to motivate people to be tested for HIV. The authors of HIV/AIDS’ social advertisement to some extent face the same challenges, as the actual epidemiologists due to the way of transmission of the disease and it social character, issues of personal choice and sexual behavior, and in many cases they fail to succeed. However, successful examples with clear, efficient and consistent messages are also present.
The article analyses the debates among the South African establishment on the Land issue and a possible amendment to the Constitution which would enable the government to expropriate land without any financial compensation. It is crucial to note that the Land reform is currently high on the agenda of the South African society, to say the least. Debates on the expropriation of land without compensation were resumed in the country shortly after December 2017 when ANC announced its readiness to reconsider article 25 of the Constitution, the article which stipulates property rights for land. Whereas there is a common understanding in South Africa that the land issue is to be addressed as soon as possible, opinions on how to achieve this goal differ significantly. Proceeding from their field research conducted in South Africa, the authors analyze the stand of the modern church organizations and social movements on the Land reform. The question hanging in the air is whether it is acceptable to expropriate land in order to fix the housing crisis in the South African megalopolises. Also, the article attempts to consider the Land reform as a possible solution to the housing crisis in South Africa. All things considered, the Land reform is a multifaceted issue with too many stakeholders, including government and different social, traditional and religious groups. In a nutshell, the Land reform is a Catch 22 situation where any move could be fraught with serious repercussions.
The сhapter of the collective monograph gives a sketch of quasi-monotheistic and genotheistic tendencies in the Egyptian religion of the 2nd and 1st millennia BC. and problems of interrelations between these trends and the genesis of Hebrew monotheism
The chapter of the collective monograph deals with the history of the formation and monotheisation of the ethno-religious community of the Samaritans.
The article analyzes the dynamics of the conflict that started in the Central African Republic (CAR) in 2012 and continues to this day, and the motives and interests of its main participants - the rebel coalitions Seleka and Antibalaka. The authors investigate the significance of the political, socio-economic and religious factors of the evolution of behavior and strategies of these two groups. Special attention is paid to the “economy of war”, which developed rapidly amid the political crisis in the CAR. The article notes that even though the ascent of President F.-A. Touadera to power in 2016 marked a new, less violent phase of the conflict, political instability in the country persists and interfaith tensions continue to be acute. A high level of impunity remains a serious problem, while the lack of responsibility for the committed crimes still breeds popular distrust of the government. The article emphasizes that in the African context conflicts often begin at the highest level - between groups of political elites - and only later involve the general population. At the same time, the political environment favors the use of violence as a means to achieve and maintain power. When armed groups get involved in political processes, conflicts are transplanted from the militarypolitical sphere to the civilian environment - local communities, where they are easily interpreted as problems of interethnic and inter-religious differences. Individuals and groups may identify themselves as belonging to a certain identity not because they were born with it, but because of the desire to get related advantages. Conflicts arise when different groups of the population - in this case, in the Central African Republic - perceive political exclusion, economic marginalization and jealousy.